HeartEdge Mailer | August 2018
"I open it, I read it.
Every time, useful."
Craig - Bradford
HeartEdge is an international ecumenical movement, passionate about nurturing Kingdom communities via four C’s - congregations, cultural engagement, commercial activity and compassion.
- Winnie Varghese on borders, Charlotte Regan and 'Drug Runner', Liz Edman and Alison Webster on seeing, Jonathan Wittenberg on bread.
- The Daily Bread Cooperative and co-ops, Broderick Greer on intersectionality, Doug Gay on preaching, Miranda Threlfall-Homes on welcome and Anthony Reddie on race and Christian Britain.
- Also poetry from Anthony Wilson, inspiration from Music Matters and Great Sacred Music, and Annie Lamott on the habit of practice.
- Plus an extract from Alison Websters new book.
Each month a smorgasbord of
inspiration, ideas and resource.
If you haven't already,
you can subscribe - sign up here!
“I’m helping my mum and sister and that’s all that matters…” Looking for stories about life on the margins? Directed by Charlotte Regan, 'Drug Runner' is a powerful short film tbout a 15 year old boy, based on an interview - watch here. Fry Up is a short exploring similar themes here.
The story of the Appellant is an audio 'refugee tale', retelling experiences of a migrant in the UK.The story is part of a growing online collection of stories and recordings - Refugee Tales. "Through walking together, telling their stories and the power of music, they campaign against the indefinite detention of asylum seekers." Listen up here.
Referring to US border guards separating families and locking up children Winnie Varghese powerfully argues “we can change this… resisting through great endurance…” Rev Winnie Varghese on rotting avocadoes, the political opportunism of pretending about borders and “a vision of family that is proud of each one of us…” here.
“Peace always costs… The people who bring about the peace will usually become alienated from their own communities…” You may have known about the Sacred Podcast, which the Theos research and think tank people pop out every couple of weeks. This one includes a thoughtful interview with actor and campaigner Sally Philips on faith, identity, autism and campaigning here. Plenty more here.
“Good Neighbours Network groups are all about people offering a helping hand to others in their local community.” Over 40-years old growing out of Winchester diocese and working mainly across Hampshire, there’s lots to learn from this approach. And Good Neighbours Network are looking to grow – maybe you can help? Learn more here.
“Oppressive forces are never vanquished, they simply re-form themselves and shape-shift into new manifestations. We have to learn to see them and recognise them, and pay attention to how we listen. That’s something we do in community, not alone. And the more diverse that community, the more nuanced will be our ‘seeing’…” Liz Edman and Alison Webster in dialogue, on learning to see here. (including a blessing attributed to St Clare!)
“I wish every supermarket, bakery, restaurant and coffee shop, where most of us regularly buy more than plenty, had a clear sign on every counter which said: ‘It’s an ancient and just practice to give a small percentage of what you spend on yourself for those who have no food’. Most of us would give, at least some of the time…” Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg on bread here.
“Daily Bread originated from a Church Group at St. Peters Church, Weston Favell, Northampton. The founders of the co-operative wished to develop a business that reflected their beliefs. The store opened in October 1980. We continue to try and live up to those original ideals.” Learn about a fantastic co-op - Daily Bread - that grew out of a local church here.
The Daily Bread Cooperative is still going strong – maybe it’s your church that might start another? Really?! Is setting up a co-op right for you? Learn more about the finance model here. Where to start setting up a co-op? Try here. Lots more resources, ideas and approaches to learn from here.
Making the shift away from a charity model to something more commercial? Charities Aid Foundation offer advice on how charities can diversify their income - moving away from a benefactor model. Check out here for ideas.
Like the Mailer?
Forward it on to friends and colleagues.
“I grew up in a very devout Baptist missionary home…” Exploring the intersection of being black, religious and gay with Broderick Greer here.
“You get a quality of dialogue with God in the Psalms that you almost get no-where else…” Preacher and theologian Doug Gay on ‘What’s a nice preacher like you doing in a text like this?’, thick with insight and challenge on approaching bible texts and preparing for that preach. Essential ideas here.
“Let kids join in actual things, not just kid's things…” We love this blog because it features practical ideas! Here are a four top-tips by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes on welcoming children in church… here.
How does a congregation do church on the margins? The Crucible course pays particular attention to the margins, “because we serve the God who frequently does new things there, on the margins of society among the poor and disenfranchised. At the margins of culture, where creative thinking explores new possibilities. On the margins of the familiar, the spaces all around us, neglected or ignored, but full of potential.” Learn more here and here.
“Her extraordinary gifts a soul-guide, friend, and leader made her a shining light and a clear mirror of Christ for thousands in her lifetime and still a light and inspiration to Christians from many denominations today…” Learn more with Malolm Guite on St Clare here.
“Black Christian churches seem to be growing – and that’s a footnote…” Anthony Reddie on racism, whiteness, empire, colonialism and ideas of Christian Britain, here:
HeartEdge is an ecumenical movement.
We connect churches together
to develop congregation, cultural engagement,
commercial activity and community.
Learn more here!
Visit the Aylsham and District Team and you’ll find a programme of concerts and music events including the monthly ‘Music Matters’ event and on 23 September, ‘Cider and Song’ – a harvest choral Evensong. Details here.
Great Sacred Music is every Thursday at 1.00pm, at St Martin in the Fields, a 35-minute lunchtime sequence to speak to heart, head and soul. It’s also found an audience with people who don’t normally go to church. Alongside is a weekly podcast with clues as to the style, and tone of the live event – have a listen here.
“I’m not going to be with the elitists and the deans. I’m going to be with the people. I’m going to be with the poor. I’m going to be with the suffering. I’m going to be with the outcasts. I’m going to be with the marginalised. If you want to draw really close to me, go and help me take care of them, because that’s where I’ll be.” We love the work of Anne Lamott. In this interview she talks about writing – and the habit of practice. Inspiring stuff here.
Got 5-minutes? 'On Twitter' is a poem by Anthony Wilson. Enjoy here.
Finally, if you like dance… enjoy this joyful celebration of dance in the movies here!
Something to plug?
News, stories or events
to share… tell us here.
HeartEdge welcomes new founding member Christ Church Sparkbrook.
London: HeartEdge Annual Conference: 'It's All Church!'
12 & 13 September 2018 - tickets going fast for our two day annual gathering – theology, ideas, resources.
Manchester: HeartEdge Day: 31 October:
- Learn more about the HeartEdge movement, make connections, share ideas, find encouragement. Plus - live jazz! Start at St Martin-in-the-Fields with Day 2 at Lambeth Palace. Contributors include: Paul Bayes; Ann Morisy; Ben Quash; Paul Goodliff; Anthony Reddie; Russell Rook; Maeve Sherlock; Justin Welby; Sam Wells; Lucy Winkett - and more soon.
- Programme includes: Bread for the World; For Good: The Church & the Future of Welfare; Start-Up’s & Keeping Going’s (Enterprise); Great Sacred Music; Nazareth Community; The Table; Art & the Crucifixion.
- Cost: HeartEdge members rate - £79 & non-members rate - £99. Tickets include conference programme, refreshments & lunch, and jazz night.
- Registration here, or contact Revd Jonathan Evens on 020 7766 1127 or here.
We'll explore mission, share ideas and find support with Sam Wells and guests in Manchester.
With panel discussion, theology, practical ‘how to’ focus. Networking. Connecting, lunch & refreshments - and Great Sacred Music with the St Martin in the Fields Voices. Book here.
- Congregation: Resources for liturgy, worship and day-to-day,
- Commerce: Being entrepreneurial and generating finance for church;
- Compassion: Grow participation and volunteering to address social need;
- Culture: Art, music and ideas to reimagine the Christian narrative for your context.
Inverness: HeartEdge Day 13 November:
Hosted by Rev Fiona Smith at Ness Bank Parish Church and Sam Wells, with theology, ideas, solutions and support for re-imagining Church. Book here.
Durham: Visual Communion is a series of symposia and events on the art, architecture and craft of the Eucharist organised by Art & Christianity. The event will explore visual arts in Christian sacramental liturgy and theology, opening up new ways of seeing art made and used for the glory of God. The first symposia takes place in Durham - Medieval mastery to Pugin, 7 & 8 September 2018, Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral, Chaired by Ben Quash and David Stancliffe. Book here.
Edinburgh: Bill Viola & the art of contemplation: A HeartEdge church & culture session, Thursday 20 September, 2.00 – 5.30pm at the Parish Church of St Cuthbert, 5 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EP.
St Cuthbert's is currently showing Bill Viola's 'Three Women' here.
- The session will focus on: approaches to curating exhibitions in churches (Revd Matthew Askey, Chaplain Southwell Minster); Bill Viola's church-located installations (Laura Moffatt, Director Art & Christianity); and art as contemplative or meditative practice (Alexander de Cadenet, artist, and our own Revd Jonathan Evens, Associate Vicar St Martin-in-the-Fields). Register free tickets here.
Burton Agnes: 'Today's Church: A Call to Social Action' St Martin's Church, Burton Agnes, Saturday 22 September. With Alison White, Bishop of Hull and our own Jonathan Evens. 'How do we become abundant communities that open space for generosity and cooperation in models that serve local need and address social justice? Details here. Book your place here or call 01262 490019 by 15th September 2018.
Maidenhead: St Luke's at 7.45pm on Thursday 27 September, with Jonathan Evens on 'Visual Art: re-imaging the Christian story'. Details here.
Southend: Sam Wells at Bell Vue Baptist on Wednesday 3 October, 6.30-9.30pm (Bell Vue Baptist Church, Southend on Sea, SS1 2QA). Doors open 6pm. Talk 1: 6.30pm Break: 7.45pm Talk 2: 8.20pm. How can church survive and thrive in the context of world and kingdom? Detail here and here.
Westminster: Salt Conference 2018: #StandTogether, Friday, 5 October 2018 – 9.30am to 4.30pm at Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London SW1H 9NH. Organised by Christian Aid's SALT Business Network to learn how to support and equip changemakers in whichever business God has called you to. With business leaders from a range of sectors on how they’re transforming business, communities and lives. Guest include: Michael Hastings – Global Head of Citizenships for KPMG International; David Connor – founder of the 2030hub and Coethica; Sophi Tranchell MBE – Managing Director of Divine Chocolate, the innovative international Fairtrade cocoa cooperative in Ghana; and Martin Rich – cofounder and Executive Director of Future Fit Foundation. Tickets cost £55. Detail here.
London: Something Worth Sharing, 2018. Saturday 13 October 10.30-4.30, St Martin's Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. A weekend of events on Disability and Church, by St Martin in the Fields and Inclusive Church. What can we do to unlock gates and share our gifts with each other and the church? From access statements to advisory groups, connecting and communicating, we explore ideas and share practical resources to getting in and joining in. Speakers include: June Boyce-Tillman, Tim Goode, Fiona MacMillan, Ann Memmott, Emily Richardson and Sam Wells. £20/£10 concessions. Register 9 July, detail and book here and here.
Coventry: Plumbline Festival is HeartEdge members Coventry Cathedral’s year long celebration of 100 years of the Diocese of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral including ‘Beneath the Tapestry’, an exhibition of works by Graham Sutherland that inspired and helped develop the iconic tapestry that hangs in Coventry Cathedral here. Precentor at Coventry Cathedral Michael Sadgrove blogs here.
In an extract from her new book, Alison Webster reflects on an a dinner time question with Simon:
'Do you see this woman?': Jesus asked you a question at dinner, ‘Simon, do you see this woman?’ It was really four questions.
‘Simon, do YOU see this woman?’ You. Do you see her? Simon, the Pharisee. Religious leader. One with authority. Why did you invite Jesus to eat with you? Simply because you could, probably. And why did he accept? Because he thought you had things to learn. But you didn’t seem like someone who wanted to learn, you seemed like someone who wanted only to teach, to tell, to impose. You betrayed yourself when you told Jesus, ‘Speak’, when he had something to say to you. He didn’t need your permission and didn’t seek it, but you gave it to him anyway.
‘Simon, do you SEE this woman?’ Did you even see her, or was she just the pretext for an argument – a convenient thing to be used? You were looking AT her, not really seeing. You made a lot of assumptions, but you didn’t ask her anything. Didn’t you wonder why she was there? Why she was crying? I suppose the fact that you had labelled her ‘a sinner’ meant that no further questions were needed.
‘Simon, do you see THIS woman?’. That one. There. In your house. In that moment. Not the whole category of women in general; not a nameless specimen of the generic, but that particular person. Someone with an identity and a story; someone who had loved and been loved. Someone whom God still loved.
‘Simon, do you see this WOMAN?’ This woman. Did you appreciate what it meant to be female in your context? To be subject to the rule of men, with little freedom or self-determination? What must it have cost her to come to your house that day? She knew her reputation; she knew that you knew. She must have imagined the looks she would get from you and your friends - the disdain, the opprobrium. She saw something in Jesus that made her think he would be different, but she couldn’t know for sure.
What if he rejected her too? What if he thought she was simply making an embarrassing spectacle of herself? Nevertheless, she took the risk and came with a symbolic gift to lay before one she instinctively trusted with herself – perfume and tears.
And he saw her. Jesus SAW her. He saw HER.
‘Found Out: Transgressive Faith & Sexuality’
by Alison Webster is published by DLT and available here.
Alison Webster is social responsibility advisor to the Bishop of Oxford
That's all for this month - back in September!